ENVOLTA Inc is a locally owned and operated Accounting firm serving Ottawa, Nepean, Orleans, Kanata and the surrounding communities. Our goal is to ensure that we provide effective professional and personal accounting services by targeting solutions for the daily financial management needs of our customers. We strive to build long term cohesive relationships, which means as a customer, you can depend on our expertise to help identify new opportunities and solve potential issues.
With our combined experience, our team prides itself on identifying and targeting high value and cost effective solutions that keep your daily financial management needs focused on your business or personal lives. The team at ENVOLTA Inc is dedicated to delivering timely advice that helps keep your finances on track. This translates to keeping our clients’ interests first.
Overdue Tax Returns
This is not a bad thing, because it happens to some of us on occasion. Understandably, some hesitation and apprehension can cause someone a level of stress over fines and injunctions. In light of this predicament, many choose to continue in not filing for past taxes due. This happens because of the unsure nature of the situation.
While in all seriousness, it is not a good idea to procrastinate by prolonging the agony. The best step to take is to confront the situation head-on. What this means is having a professional tax accountant compile and file your overdue returns for you, which still may reap some benefits after all.
When in a financial situation such as this once you are current with your tax information with the CRA you can then begin to negotiate the possibility of a payment plan to bring all your records up to date. It is best not to wait in resolving issues with late taxes. Contact us and we will aid you in getting you back on track. The accountants at ENVOLTA are trained and experienced with this type of financial hardship and therefore can help you avoid most undue penalties. Contact us immediately if this pertains to you.
Reasons why you did not file your return on time
There are never any legitimate excuses
- You did not know that you were required to file a tax return
- You did not have the money and did not want to file until you could pay
- You were sick, physically, emotionally, mentally or just plain busy with personal matters are extremely busy with work
- You were out of the country at the time
- You always get a refund and always fail after the rush
- You’re on your own timeline and just don’t care
Reasons why you must file
- As requested by Family Lawyers during divorce proceedings.
- To reinstate family benefits which you are entitled to but have been suspended as your returns are not up to date.
- To fulfill CRA demands to file outstanding returns
- For Estate purposes to obtain Clearance Certificates
- Up to date and obtain the refunds the you are entitled to
- Correct returns which have been arbitrarily assessed by the CRA
Harmonized and Goods and Service Tax (HST/GST)
These taxes pertain to owning property and services rendered throughout the provinces in Canada. The provinces of Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Labrador, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, designated as the participating provinces, cooperate in a harmonization or rather a coordination of their collective provincial GST resulting in the creation of the HST.
Overall, the HST pertains to the same properties and services covered by the GST. However, the HST only applies to those provinces that participate in this program. We find the GST in the provinces that do not participate in the program.
Quebec, Canada is the only province that utilizes a selective process that governs which financial institution pays into the GST/HST system.
CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency)
This is the central operating agency for the administration and enforcement of taxation here in Canada. Their scope includes controlling certain economic and social incentive programs that function as outcomes of the tax system.
The CRA offers electronic services available for the following:
You can file a return, make a payment, change your personal information, fill a dispute, determine family benefits, or set up a direct deposit.
File a return, make a payment, register a business, get information, make an online request, calculate payroll deductions, make an electronic payment, download or order forms and publications, and various other actions that are available.
File a return or make a payment for an individual or business client, get information, subscribe to an electronic mailing list, download or order forms and publications.
Charities and donors
Perform research for locating a registered charity, calculate charitable donation tax credits, and change a charity’s address.
Which CRA online service is right for you?
The CRA, (Canada Revenue Agency), provides three secure online services for managing a variety of tax affairs. My Account, My Business Account, and Represent a Client allow taxpayers or their representatives to interact electronically with the CRA efficiently and securely, for a variety of services. If you’re not sure which service you need, try our online questionnaire at www.cra.gc.ca/getonline. It will guide you in selecting and signing up for the service that’s right for you.
Report your tips: they are taxable income
The CRA is reminding Canadians who earn tips and gratuities that it is a taxable income and must be reported on annual income tax and benefit returns. Restaurant servers, hairdressers, valets, taxi drivers, and others who earn tips may not have all of their income recorded by their employers, which means that their T4 slips may not include all of their income.
Working for Cash
If you are a contractor and you begin a construction or renovation project, remember this: there are significant risks if you accept cash for the job without reporting your income. Contractors caught not reporting, cash income face serious consequences, such as penalties, court fines, and even jail time.
Benefits of Filing on Time and Online
Do you know?
That by filing your income tax return and paying what you owe on time helps avoid interest and penalty charges, and ensures that your benefits won’t be delayed.
- You have until midnight on or before May 5, 2014, to file your 2013 income tax and benefit return.
- If you or your spouse or common-law partner is self-employed, you have until midnight on June 16, 2014, to file your return.
- Any balance owing must be paid on or before May 5, 2014—even if your return is due on June 16, 2014.
What happens when you do not file on time?
When you file your yearly tax return, you are letting the CRA know your current tax situation. Without that information, they are unable to determine if you are still eligible to receive certain benefit payments. If you don’t file on time, your benefit and credit payments (for example, the Canada child tax benefit and the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit) may be interrupted.
Additionally, having a balance owed to the CRA and not filing on time, they will charge a late-filing penalty. The penalty is 5% of your 2013 balance owing, plus 1% of your balance owing for each full month that your return is late, to a maximum of 12 months. Charged when a late-filing penalty on your return for 2010, 2011, or 2012, your late-filing penalty for 2013 maybe 10% of your 2013 balance owing, plus 2% of your 2013 balance owing for each full month that your return is late, to a maximum of 20 months.
In addition to the late-filing penalty, if you have a balance owed for 2013, there will be a charge, of compound daily interest beginning May 6, 2014, on any unpaid amounts for 2013. As a result of the five-day service interruption in April, interest and penalties will not be applied to individual taxpayers filing their 2013 tax returns by midnight on or before May 5. Even if you are unable to pay all of your balance owed, you should still file your return on time and call us at 1-888-863-8657 to make a payment arrangement. Remember when you file on time, you avoid penalty fees.
Need to Make Changes in your Return
This is easier than it would seem. If you realize a mistake, then contact the CRA and they will help fix it.
Want to Make Payments
Anyone has the ability to go online and make a payment not unlike paying a telephone or Hydro bill.
If you are a Part Time Residence
If you spend part of the year outside of Canada, in the United States (U.S.), for example, and you maintain residence Canada (that is, a home, a spouse or common-law partner, a property), we usually consider you to be a factual resident of Canada. This means you are liable for taxes.
This affects all Canadians and is of course one portion of the taxes each individual and business must pay. It all began after WW1, prior to that Canadians did not have to pay taxes on their income. The support for the Government at the time came from Customs tax and import and export tariffs.
Naturally, the opposing political parties had a difference of opinion at the time, the Federal Liberal Party wanted to impose an income tax while the Conservative party strongly argued against such a tax levy. Sadly, the expense of the war gave the government little choice because of the lack of funding for normal operations and in 1917 the Canadian Government began, what was supposed to be temporary, collecting an income tax under the guise of covering the debt incurred by the war. While it can get frustrating, handing part of our earnings over to a group of people that handle these funds responsibly it is understandable that expenses are a result of living in today’s world.
We all have them Governments and individuals alike. The Canadian Government’s expenditures for the fiscal period of 2011-12 totalled around $271.4 billion, which came from taxpayer monies. The distribution of this tax amount is among the provinces and territories, reportedly, using approximately $0.59 of each tax dollar.
Operating a Government is a costly business when you figure there are over 130 different government agencies and departments that make up the Canadian Government as a single unit. In an approximate breakdown, we can figure another $0.30 goes to the operation of the infrastructure, public safety, the CRA, and the National Defence. This leaves around $0.11 going towards the National debt that this country has accrued over the years.
The bottom line is in order to continue to have the lifestyles we all enjoy we must come to the terms that we must pay for it. In addition to this, taxation should follow a fair and impartial set of guidelines that all citizens are subject too regardless of our individual financial status. Accordingly, all should have access to benefits derived from allowable deductions. This again makes it important when wanting to ensure the best results for a return.
Most of us understand that we reap some social benefits from paying taxes. As such, when we pay our taxes part of the money, as stated in the section on Federal taxation, goes towards the support of the Canadian Provincial Governments. Consequently, when paying the annual taxes here in Ottawa these funds go to the Ontario Provincial Government offices. The Federal Government is the central collection agency who we actually pay our taxes too who then distributes a percentage back to the province. This is how the tax system works.
As it stands the taxes, we pay to the Federal Government for the support of the certain services the Provincial branches also contribute to these same programs. Additionally, each Province has their own obligations in support of their own infrastructures.
Herein is where issues can arise. While we understand that, each Province varies in size by land, population, and economic structure we find that there is an unbalance between the amount revenue generated from each Province. The fix, so to speak, was to support an equalization process where the Provincial Governments would add contribute part of their funds in support of the Provinces that are unable to meet a certain level of revenue generated through taxation.
When most of us living in Ottawa think about our tax responsibilities, our minds are set on our income tax alone. This happens mainly because of what we see when we look at our earnings each week. Additionally, it helps to remember that we all pay tax on the goods and services we use as part of our daily life, such as groceries, property, (clothes and vehicles), and entertainment.
Here then is the reason for understanding where our tax dollars go along with their allocation, and distribution channels. This includes all levels of government, the Federal, Provincial, and city branches. Specifically, here in Ottawa the city council is the body responsible for budgeting, how to allocate their funds, our tax dollars, among the many programs they support. Surely, there are times when you may ask yourself, “Where are my tax dollars going?” And “How am I benefitting?”
One direct answer is, look at the Police service in Ottawa. Their pay comes from the taxes we pay and are a larger part of the city budget. Nonetheless, there are understandably other programs supported through the taxes we all pay. However, the Provincial taxes we pay targets the capital budget for the most part.
The never ending contention between the Provincial and City Governments is that the distribution is not as balanced as some feel, in other words, some feel that they do not receive enough or a fair share. The subsequent outlook from the taxpayer is that we pay too much tax for not enough benefits or there are too many unnecessary taxes.
At the end of it all there is no getting around the fact that we must all support our way of life through the support of our Government by paying taxes. However, by utilizing the services of a professional accountant in Ottawa you can diminish the amount you actually pay through tax breaks and deductions.
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Standard Filing (paper filing)
The mailing address for CRA for tax returns is different based on the type of tax return as well the tax Centre which services your area. The preferred method of filing almost all tax returns for tax preparers is the Electronic Filing of Tax Returns otherwise known as EFILE. At the same time, however, there are certain situations where electronic filing is not possible and therefore paper filing of returns is the only other option and these returns should be sent in paper filled with all attachments.
You can get the 2014 General Income Tax and Benefit guide and forms book by the following methods,
On the Internet
You can pick up a General Income Tax and Benefit Package for 2014 online. These forms and schedules are also available in multiple formats that can be accessed by persons who are blind or partially sighted.
At a Post Office
You can go to your province or territory and return envelope from any postal outlet or Service Canada office near you between February and early May. If your local postal outlet or Service Canada office is out of stock, please check back later. They are continually restocking.
Beginning last year, 2013, tax preparers who file more than 10 returns will be required to file them electronically. This mandatory electronic filing applies to the filing of both T1 General income tax and benefit returns and T2 corporate income tax returns for the 2012 and later tax years.
The penalty for not EFILE is $25 for each T1 General Return and $100 for T2 Corporation returns that are paper filed. This may result in higher filing fees passed on to the consumer/client. In case where those not comfortable with filing online there is no need to be concerned. EFILE is part of the services offered at ENVOLTA. There are a few exceptions where an individual is not eligible for EFILE. When this happens, we follow the normal procedures.
Demand to File Notice from the CRA
If you receive this notice you are compelled by law to file. There is no way around this. There are situations where people fail to file for a number of years and a number of reasons. This is when these notices come. The CRA will ask for specific periods of unpaid tax returns that need reconciling on their books.
Having a professional accountant handle this for you is always in your best interest. This is because of the changing tax laws and their ability to get it right the first time. Specifically, if there is some level of complexity with your unpaid taxes because of bankruptcy, a failed business, or an estate settlement.